The climax principle asserts that a sequence of similar phrases
should be interpreted climactically even if the words
and grammatical constructs used do not directly suggest this. That is
the fact of the sequence justifies
reading into the Biblical text
a climactic interpretation
even if no other textual source justifies it. For this reason we consider
the climax method a distinct and separate method.
what the Jews took from Egypt when they left
And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they asked of the Egyptians
- Silver utensils
- Gold utensils
- and clothing
Rashi interprets this Biblical verse Climactically:
Silver utensils were the least important, gold utensils
were more important and clothing was most important. We infer
this from the fact that clothing is mentioned last in the verse.
Rashi tells us that clothing were the most important
but does not elaborate further. Perhaps he is being
discrete. After all slaves do not traditionally wear
good clothing. The Midrash relates that Vashti, the Queen
or Persia, used to make her Jewish slaves work naked to
humiliate them. In such a context Rashi's statement
the clothing was the most important emphasizes
the degraded state in which the Jewish slaves were - all they
could think about was getting a good pair of clothing.
What we have called the
modern scholars call
Modern scholars classify climactic parallelism
in what we have called the alignment method.
Dr. Kugel particularly emphasized that parallelism
requires a climactic increasing intensity of interpretation.